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Chair's Blog: A Preview of the Los Angeles Board Workshop

17 January 2019
By Cherine Chalaby

Near the end of this month, from 25-28 January, the ICANN Board will meet in Los Angeles, California, for its first workshop of calendar year 2019.

We will be discussing many of the topics I outlined in my previous blog, as well as my wrap-up of ICANN63 and the Barcelona Board workshop. This includes some of the most-pressing issues impacting ICANN, such as ongoing efforts related to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a subsequent round of new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applications, and more. We'll also hold multiple public sessions, including a public Board meeting. Information about how to dial-in to these listen-only sessions is available here.

Friday, 25 January, will be dedicated to strategic planning and committee meetings. As I’ve discussed before, it’s important that the Board dedicate time to closely examine ICANN’s long-term priorities and external factors that may have an impact on the Community or ICANN org. The day will begin with meetings of the Accountability Mechanisms and Finance committees. ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby will lead a session on ICANN’s work in tracking regulations that may effect ICANN and its mission, and how we can appropriately engage with governments to educate and inform. Following these sessions, León Sanchez will lead a discussion focused on ensuring that the Board is supporting ICANN’s mission.

The Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council is meeting in Los Angeles for a strategic workshop at the same time as the Board Workshop. We are taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with the Council over lunch. Following this, Chris Disspain will lead a session on the possible evolution of the ICANN model of governance. We’ll then round out the day with meetings of the Board’s Governance and Organizational Effectiveness Committees (OEC).

On Saturday, 26 January, I will host a brief opening session, followed by a dialogue with Göran regarding his top priorities and goals for the ICANN org. Maarten Botterman will then lead the first public session of the workshop, where he will provide a progress update on the Board’s FY19 priorities. Afterward, he will lead a session dedicated to finalizing the Board’s response to the Governmental Advisory Committee’s Barcelona Communique.

Next, Becky Burr will lead a session on the GNSO’s Expedited Policy Development Process on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, progress made in identifying a technical solution for a unified access model, and the ongoing dialogue with the Data Protection Authorities. Then, Avri Doria will lead a public session regarding track five of the Geographical Names as TLDs Policy Development Process, followed by a discussion organized by Göran on potential steps necessary to implement a subsequent round of the New gTLD Program.

For the final session of the day, Göran will brief the Board on ICANN’s efforts to address abuse of the Domain Name System’s infrastructure, including an update on Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) and compliance efforts.

Sunday, 27 January, will start with a session dedicated to proposed Board resolutions. directly followed by our public Board meeting. Then, Khaled Koubaa will host a session to review recommendations from the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team’s report. Avri will follow by leading a public session about implementation of the recommendations outlined in the Cross Community Working Group on the Accountability Work Stream 2 Final Report.

Next, Akinori Maemura will provide an update from the Board Technical Committee (BTC), including the status of RSSAC Advice 37 and 38, as well as the Name Collision Analysis Project. Later in the day, Khaled will present the OEC’s update to the Board on where various reviews stand.

On the final day of the workshop, Monday, 28 January, Sarah Deutsch will lead a meeting of the Board’s Audit Committee (BAC). The rest of the day will be dedicated to providing Board members with audit training. This training is a requirement for BAC members, and open to all members of the ICANN Board to attend.

Board workshops are always packed with a range of topics and discussions, and this one is certainly no exception. Having had a moment to step back, reflect, and refresh our minds during the holiday season, I expect that this will be a very productive and useful four days


Cherine Chalaby

Former ICANN Board Chair